Gbenga Adefaye

By Osa Amadi, Arts Editor

“If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true” – John 5: 31

In the weeks and months ahead, this book, “Gbenga Adefaye: The media man @ 60” will engage the attention of arts editors across the Nigerian media space and other reviewers. This is merely an introduction to what is to come.   

Going by the scripture quoted above, a book like this – made up of testimonies given of one by others – is more valid than biographies and autobiographies.

There are too many books in the world. The bible, once again, says: “Of making many books there is no end…”

But I tell you, there are not enough good books in the world, and there will never be enough good books in the world because the appetites of lovers of good books are so voracious that no matter the number of good books you churn out, they will all be consumed by people like Gbenga Adefaye, Eze Anaba, Uncle Sam and those who make good books like this possible.

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Yes, all those who contributed to this book, especially authors of the chapters, are lovers of good books, because you cannot be a good writer without being a good reader. In addition to telling the story of Adefaye from the perspectives of other media men, “Gbenga Adefaye: The media man @ 60” is a collection of samples of the writing skills of some of Nigeria’s best writers in the media.  

While we are discussing good books, there is a related matter that needs to be broached: The same concern facing publishing hard copies of newspapers also faces book-making. Just as we ask whether publishing hard copies of newspapers is going to die as a result of online publishing and online media, so do we ask whether making hard copies of books will die due to the making of electronic books.

Gbenga Adefaye, the subject of this book under review, is a staunch believer in the theory that as the advent of television did not kill radio, online media will not kill newspapers.

There are other valid bases for that theory: the invention of the camera and photography did not kill visual arts like painting and sculpture; recorded music did not kill the demand for live music performances, and home videos have not succeeded in burying the theatre arts and the cinema!

“Books as artworks” is both an interesting and fitting slogan of TCI Magazine – the book publishing company that published “Gbenga Adefaye: The media man @ 60”. The company insists that each copy of a book it makes and sells is made and sold as a piece of artwork rather than just a book.

Book-making is an art. If an artwork of painting, for instance, can be sold for millions of dollars, there should be no amount of money too much to sell a good book produced as an artwork.

No artwork is perfect. Ihe dinmma n’eweghi ntupo adighi is a deep philosophical expression in Igbo. It means “a beautiful thing without blemish does not exist”. Similarly, as an artwork, there is no perfect, beautiful, good book. A spot, a stain somewhere, or a blemish does not detract from the beauty of a good book created as artwork.

In scratching the story of Gbenga Adefaye through this book, and of giving testimonies about him, the story of Nigeria media and journalism is also scratched – I say scratched because the story of Gbenga Adefaye and the Nigeria media and journalism are too wide to be exhaustively captured in one book. But this “scratch”, lean as it is, is indeed a significant scratch that opens a significant window that bequeaths us a good view into the person of Adefaye and of the contemporary Nigeria media and journalism.

As such, this book, “Gbenga Adefaye: The media man @ 60”, is, therefore, a must-read by every journalist, communication and media studies scholar and student, other media practitioner, academics, mass communication student, Public Relations practitioner, Media Relations practitioners, Marketing Communications practitioners, government and government agencies who ought to be interested in the media, and of course, all consumers of media products.

Vanguard News Nigeria


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.